"Another," he sneered, wiping the milk out of his barely-visible mustache. "Gimme another." Link was on a bender--one that had lasted several years. It started innocently enough; a sip here when he was thirsty, a sip there to ease the pain, but it became more than that. Now, it was more than a crutch. The "Hero of Time" could barely bother rolling out of his empty bed without a swig of Lon Lon Milk and a Heart Container. He had a problem.
But it wasn't always this way. At one point, long ago, he was a hero. He saved the world, sacrificing everything for the kingdom he loved--and the woman he adored. He'd defeated Ganondorf 10 years earlier, slaying the evil sorcerer and releasing the domain from his power. And the land was grateful. Now, a mere decade later, Link's a shell of the man he once was. He rubbed the back of his hand, now absent of any testament to his courage. "Another," he sneered again, tapping the weakened, rust-stained Master Sword at his side.
Year One: A Celebration for the Seasons/Ages
The feast lasted for the entire year. Link freed Hyrule from the clutches of the dark lord Ganondorf with the help of the Sages, locking the evil sorcerer away. Evil wasn't dead, and it'd eventually return, but it was no longer the burden of this era. It was another age's problem to solve, and that was reason for celebration. This hero had earned a taste of celebrity, the kind that only arrives every few centuries. The frozen lakes of the Zora's domain were thawed, the angry volcano of Death Mountain was calmed, and Lake Hylia was a lake, once again. Things were good, and people were grateful.
Still young and shy, Link was knighted by Zelda, the new Queen of Hyrule, placed on the throne by blood spilled during the war. She took to the role of leader well, and helped heal her wounded land, with Link as her right hand. And soon, he took her hand--in marriage. Though technically King, Link broke from tradition and continued to allow Zelda to rule while he traveled the lands, attempting to track down those looking to resurrect evil.
Year Two: The Great Purge
Whispers in the wind still spoke of Ganondorf the Dark. Ganondorf the Evil. Ganondorf the Powerful. Groups of his followers travelled together in hopes of breaking his binds. The power of the Sages was strong, they thought, but Ganondorf is power. Link, sworn to protect the lands, had other ideas. He led a group of Hylian Knights and decimated the remainder of his opponents.
Within 18 months of Ganondorf's imprisonment his remaining armies were scattered, and his few supporters imprisoned. Link returned to the castle and was given another royal welcome. He walked through the halls, head held high, soaking in the admiration. He was the protector of the realm. He was the King.
Year Three: A Link to the Future
After stepping away from the public scene for several months, Queen Zelda emerged to reveal Prince Gustaf, the couple's first son. A celebration was thrown in his honor in Kakariko Village, a location Link felt would be easily secure. Guards were everywhere, meticulously placed at the request of Link, who patrolled the party like a sentry. Decked out in thick, heavy armor, he loudly clanked from side to side of the party, making sure his presence was known.
Soon after the birth, though, there were signs that things weren't all well in the royal bedroom. Some blamed Link's paranoia, while others thought that his brief stint in the spotlight changed the king. Others claimed that he might be unfaithful to Zelda, a rumor given more power when a lewd pictograph of the King began circulating. In it he stood tall, proud, wearing nothing but his signature green hat--and not where you'd think he would wear it. Why would Link have taken such an image? Was it a fake? Link remained silent.
Year Four: Link is Missing
Pressure was mounting over the sexually explicit pictograph of Link, but the discussion came to a screeching halt when the King vanished from Hyrule castle. No guard saw him leave. No one heard a sound. Search parties were sent out, but to no avail--the Hero of Time was gone.
Taking his place as head of security to the Kingdom (and second-in-command to Zelda) was Impa, the family friend responsible for saving Zelda during Ganondorf's invasion. She stood beside the Queen during these trying times, giving her a shoulder to lean on as the search continued for her husband.
Year Five: Link's Re-Awakening
Covered in scratches and bruises, Link stumbled through the gates of Hyrule Castle. His recovery was slow, and cast a shadow over the entire kingdom--who would have, or could have, done this? If there was an evil force powerful enough to break into Hyrule Castle and kidnap the Hero of Time, was anyone safe?
But some things didn't add up. He didn't seem to have any memory of his time away (on account of his supposed dehydration), and most of his wounds seemed remarkably fresh for someone who had been gone for such a long time. Some were skeptical about his "disappearance," and called for a full investigation--which Zelda refused. Her husband, the King, had returned, and that's all that mattered.
Year Six: The Hero of Grime
Just as the mumblings about Link's disappearance began to fade away, more lewd pictographs of Link began to circulate. While some assume they might have been taken against his will or without his knowledge, more begin to spread, showing the holder of the Triforce of Courage engaging in sex acts with another woman.
Zelda defended her husband, claiming that the pictures were faked, made by Ganondorf supporters to discredit his claim to the throne. Link remained silent during this time, which, to many, was an admission of guilt. Some said that the Triforce of Courage was faded from his hand, but no one knew for sure.
Year Seven: The Sexual Adventure of Link
More and more women came forward, claiming that they've had sexual relations with Link. Some said he was acting out against his feeling marginalized, others blamed his paranoia, while still others seemed to point towards his lack of an adolescence as an excuse for his behavior. Sleeping through the entirety of puberty has to have had some negative results, after all.
By the end, some 20 women claimed to have had a relationship with Link during his year-long adventure away from the castle. Some of these allegations were proven to be fraudulent, with women simply making grabs at his rupees, while others clearly had grabbed his rupees. Public opinion seemed on the fence until Lon Lon Ranch's Malon, an old fling of Link's, came clean about their relationship. And their son.
Year Eight: Playing the Blame Game
Even with evidence mounting against him, Link refused to admit defeat--though as time went on, it seemed more and more likely that he was having a breakdown. The first excuse came with the admission of addiction. Link claimed that while he was busy "saving the world from the god of power, in case you don't remember," he developed a reliance on healing milk, hearts, and fairy dust. It was also the year Link started speaking, and his formally taciturn nature suddenly became clear. The Hero of Time's voice recalled that of a sickly octorok calling for its mother.
He blamed these addictions for his erratic behavior, which included an episode where he shaved his head. There were also a slew of horseback accidents, and at one point, he even insinuated that the Gerudo raised Ganon the way they did because "those filthy *****ing ******* *******ers just don't know how to deal with men, if you know what I mean." Every month that passed there was a new controversy, with the King seeming incapable of maintaining any semblance of dignity.
Year Nine: A King No More
Eventually, though, Link admitted the truth--he had been unfaithful. He had a problem. The pressure of being the Hero of Time was too much for one man to handle, especially one who, at the time, knew only how to be a hormone-fueled 14-year-old boy. It became too much to handle for Zelda, and she cast Link out of the castle. It was one of the first times a King of Hyrule was forced to leave the kingdom, with the previous time, ironically, being Link's predecessor, Ganondorf.
He traveled the land, visiting the slew of women he'd left behind. He first stopped in the Zora's Domain, where he once had a relationship with the fish-queen, but she wouldn't have him. Neither did Malon, who refused to let him see his son, Tingle, who had apparently become infatuated with the Kokiri after finding out who his father was. Defeated, he returned to the home he left behind many, many years before.
Year Ten: Lost in the Woods
Link was alone. He wandered through Hyrule looking for someone--anyone to take him in, but was unlucky in his journey. Eventually he went back to the home he left so many years ago: Kokiri Forest. When he arrived he was shocked to find that the controversies hadn't actually reached the woods. No one knew about his adultery, no one knew about his addictions. He was free to start over. Free to ignite an old flame.
In these woods lived Saria, Link's childhood sweetheart and one of the Sages that helped him lock Ganondorf away. She still loved Link, even though she knew their love would be taboo. The Kokori are ageless, meaning that, physically, they still appear to be children even if, mentally, they're matured. Link, meanwhile, was physically in his mid-twenties, even though mentally he was still a teen. Scandalous, sure, but if you think about it, he was actually robbing the grave.
There he made his home, and eventually faded away--lost to the forest, to the trees, to the woods, and to time.
The 10-year anniversary of Ganondorf's defeat should have been a joyous day. There should have been cake. There should have been milk. But instead, there was silence. Link was ruined. He had dragged his name through the mud so completely that the "hero of time" moniker had lost all importance--people didn't even capitalize it when they wrote it down. Knowing the importance the title held, Queen Zelda set out to right history.
And so the great purge began, with all of the record books being rewritten to ignore the Link that came after. Instead, the timeline was rewritten, with all historic accounts being adapted to ignore the years when Link became a lying, cheating addict. The books were burnt, the people were silenced, and it was explained that Link returned the Master Sword to its pedestal in the Temple of Time, warping him back to his childhood--but it was a facade. Link's legacy was maintained, but his life was buried, turning fact into myth, story into legend and making it really hard to follow the history of the realm. Like, seriously, people still can't sort the timeline out.